Please note: I haven’t personally subscribed to any of these boxes yet/haven’t sampled their product yet, so I can’t attest to them first hand, however, I’ve been researching each box meticulously, trying to figure out which would be the best option, for me at least. This post is more so to give some insight into the different options for readers who are looking for a subscription box. An actual review of whichever box I’ve chosen (you’ll find out below), will be posted once my box comes in May.
If you didn’t already know, I’m a HUGE subscription box fan. I’ve done quite a few unboxings via the blog and also on my YouTube channel in the past. I personally love getting stuff in the mail and when I discovered subscription boxes, I looked around for what best suited my interests.
FYI: My Subscription Addiction is my go-to website for checking out new boxes, reading up on reviews, and such.
In the past, I focused more on subscriptions for my kids. I felt like they offered more products for a better value, some of them at least. I’m still subscribed to my favorite box for the girls, Nerd Block Jr. for Girls (and the Boys version for my nephew), but other boxes I’ve subscribed to in the past have been Citrus Lane and Kiwi Crate. As for myself, I tried the most popular beauty boxes, since they’re so plentiful and competitively priced, Birchbox and Ipsy, eventually settling on Ipsy (I liked their samples a lot more than Birchbox), which I subscribed to for a year, but then cancelled because I’m just not a BIG makeup person. I wanted to be, but that’s just not my style. I also had Birchbox for Men for the hubs, but that ended quickly because it definitely wasn’t working.
While I’m still shopping around for a budget-friendly box for the hubs w/a good curation, I’m leaning towards Bespoke Post (I actually just ordered our first box for the hubs so stay tuned for that unboxing), I have since shifted my sights for my own box towards something that interests me WAY more than makeup ever will.
Bet you didn’t see that coming.
I’ve long since lamented that there wasn’t a book subscription service out there for me to spend my money on, especially when it seemed like there was a service for everything else you could think of. I did come across various “quarterly” services, but they didn’t interest me in the slightest based on past curations and hefty pricing. Then, all of a sudden, there was a BOOM of bookish subscription box services and everyone was jumping on the boat. As much of a sub box addict as I was, I wasn’t sold on the idea just yet, mostly because of cost issues (this was when I already had like FIVE subscriptions going on).
But since I’ve cleared my wallet of those past services already easily forgotten, I’ve made room in my wallet to feed not only my book addiction, but also my sub box addiction. Two birds with one stone, FTW!
Enough of me yapping about subscription boxes and telling you my life story. Just get to talking about the subscription boxes, am I right?
So yes, I’ve spent way too much time online, on Twitter, Instagram (especially), and Facebook checking out each of these services and seeing which one I’d want to give a try. There are actually quite a few box options out there for book lovers, but today I’m discussing the cheaper services of the bunch for all you budget-conscious readers like me.
Lets get down to the details and see what each service is about.
First post and first @uppercasebox! Really cool items and I am loving the book cover #uppercasebox #books
See more pictures here.
What It Is: A Young Adult book subscription box service (genres may vary) curated by Lisa of Read.Breathe.Relax. Not only is she a long-time book blogger, she also writes book-related articles for The Huffington Post. Subscribers will not know ahead of time what the book of the month will be. This box boasts exclusive content from the author, a Goodreads group to discuss the book with other Uppercase subscribers, codes for interactive play, and more!
– 1 exciting new YA book
– 1 book accessory (funky items like bookmarks, posters, jewelry, totes, etc)
– A personal explanation about why the book was chosen
– Exclusive author content including signed items and behind-the-scenes videos and blogs
– Bonus: Discount codes for popular book buying websites
When/Where It Ships: The 15th of each month. If you place your order/subscribe by the 1st of the month, you’ll receive that month’s box. If not, you’ll receive the following month’s box. Currently, it only ships to US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Cost: (two options)
– $23 (plus $6US,PR/$19.50CAN shipping) for the Expert package, a new YA book they think everyone will love.
– $29 (plus $6US,PR/$19.50CAN shipping) for the Personalized package, a YA book you personally will love.
All subscription plans are on a month-to-month basis, paid for upfront, and billed the 1st of the month. They can be canceled at any time. Any changes must be made by the 5th of the month, if you want them to be reflected in that month’s shipment!
My Thoughts: I love that this service is curated by a fellow book blogger. While I don’t know Lisa or her blog personally, book bloggers are given the chance to preview up-and-coming books and they tend to pay more attention to what is popular or what is buzzing about in the book community, so there’s a better chance that I’ll actually like/want the book they provide. I don’t like that it doesn’t come in an actual box, as I feel that adds to the security/protection of the product, making it less likely to get damaged (you know how USPS is), and it adds to the experience of actually unboxing my package. I also don’t like that it doesn’t include anywhere near as many bookish goodies as the other boxes.
OwlCrateThanks so much to Korrina and Robert at @owlcrate for this fun box! You can see my unboxing in the link on my profile #owlcrate #adarkershadeofmagic #victoriaschwab
See more pictures here.
What It Is: A Young Adult book subscription box service based on a specific (surprise) theme each month curated by a couple of avid readers. Every once in awhile they may include an Adult novel that is being embraced by the YA community, but is promised to be suitable for ages 16+. They boast exclusive content from publishers and authors, and that each book they choose will have been published a maximum of 45 days prior to their ship date.
– A highly anticipated new YA release.
– 3-5 other bookish goodies (jewelry, totes, yummy treats, pins, etc).
– Exclusive items from publishers and authors.
– A note telling you more about the novel and the items included in your crate.
When/Where It Ships: The 20th of each month. Currently, it ships internationally.
Cost: (three options)
– $29.99 (plus $6.99US/$10.59CAN/$19.99INTL shipping) for the Monthly package
– $28.99 (plus $6.99US/$10.59CAN/$19.99INTL shipping) for the 3-Month package
– $27.99 (plus $6.99US/$10.59CAN/$19.99INTL shipping) for the 6-Month package
You have the option of choosing to pay on a month-to-month basis or paying upfront for 3 or 6-month subscription (with discounts applied). Renewal is automatic until you cancel your subscription. When you sign up you will be charged immediately for the subscription model you choose (1, 3 or 6 month). Once your subscription cycle is over, you will be re-billed for the same cycle until you decide to cancel your subscription via logging into your account. Re-billing takes place on the first of the month.
My Thoughts: I really love that this box includes so many bookish goodies, and ones that I would actually use/enjoy. It’s definitely a bit on the pricier side, so there’s that. However, I’m always on the lookout for cute/fun book-related items and they seem to know what the masses want, based on the last two boxes. Since they’re a new service and pretty popular already, they do have a limited number of boxes and you might find yourself stuck on a waitlist at times. When they actually open up subscriptions, it’s not necessarily at a convenient time for everyone and the window to subscribe is so short (props to them for selling out so quickly though) it’s not really feasible for those of us with busy schedules. They are just a two-person team, so there’s potential for this company to grow. A definite highlight about this box is that it ships to international readers and is the only one that offers that option.
The Bookworm BoxYay, great mail day. I finally got my March Indie @thebookwormbox today. Carrie Beckort's kingston's project is the indie book choice. I have never heard of her, but the synopsis sounds very interesting. The Bookworm Box pen is still one of my favorites, so having a spare is a bonus. I also received my @bookscents candle and sample wax shots. Oh my heavens, I love them all. Outlander candle smells like a field of heather, I can imagine the highlands. The wax shots are Voyager, Claire Fraser, Pemberely Garden, and Fifty Shades. Love them all so I may be in trouble on my next order. #mailday #outlander #thebookwormbox #GoodDeedsGreatReads #books #bookish #booklove #bookstagram #swag #signedbooks #bookscentscandles #bookscents
See more pictures here.
What It Is: A Romance book subscription box service curated by best-selling author, Colleen Hoover with varying boxes for each subscriber featuring signed books and exciting swag from other best-selling authors and indie authors as well. This service boasts that 100% of the profit after overhead costs will be donated to a different charity each month, so you know that your money is affecting change.
– When you order a featured box, you will receive two signed books from two of four featured bestselling authors, plus exciting book swag. This means that the featured boxes will vary a little bit, since you will get a random selection of two of four featured books.
– When you order an indie box, you will receive one indie book plus exciting book swag each month. Boxes may vary.
When/Where It Ships: They open up sales between the 18th-22nd prior to the month featured. Shipment will occur from the 15th-20th of the featured (following) month. Currently, they only ship within the US.
Cost: (two options)
– $39.99 for the Featured Box
– $29.99 for the Indie Bookworm Box
Subscriptions are sold on a month-to-month basis only. Refunds can be requested up until the box ships. There are no refunds/exchanges if you already have a signed copy of the book(s) of the month.
My Thoughts: This service is the most expensive of the bunch, particularly if you want the featured box, which is kind of a turnoff for me, but judging from the picture above, you get a good amount of stuff in your box. As for the actual value, I’d have to see more boxes in order to judge. I do love CoHo and trust her judgment for a good read though and it’s awesome that she donates the profits to charity. I like that this box features romance books, as I tend to read more of those than anything else. Also, I like that she supports Indie authors, however, because it’s usually a gamble with that kind of thing, I’m hesitant with this box because the risk of me not liking the book(s) might be too much, given the cost. And, like I said above, the small window to subscribe and the fact that it sells out quickly turns me off from it a bit.
LitCubeLook what found its way to my doorstep yesterday…..my first #litcube! I'm so excited to read #Unenchanted by @ChandaHahn. There were so many great goodies in the box too. Especially the gorgeous photo from @reginawamba, which I want to frame. The cookie from #sweetsbysteph is almost too pretty to eat! #happilyeverafter @litcube #unboxed #readerbox #readingiscool #read #books #bookish #booklove #bookmail #bookaddict #bookstagram #fairytales #fairytalebrownies #maeisdesign #najlaqamber #jivacubes
See more pictures here.
What It Is: A monthly (surprise) book subscription box for readers featuring books from award-winning traditional and indie authors in a variety of genres and themes. This service is funded through Kickstarter and curated by a hybrid author. There will be a different theme every month. They do not be feature erotica books or books with explicit sexual themes. They boast pairing hand-picked books with high quality literary themed products, with a retail value of over $40 per box, (their popular item is a book-related t-shirt, although it will not be in every box, in a unisex/men’s fit, sizes S-XXL) to bring readers a magical reading experience each and every month.
– 1 or 2 book(s) related to the theme chosen that month
– Assorted bookish goodies (t-shirt, notebook, candles, pens, prints, etc)
When/Where It Ships: The 16th of each month. Currently, it only ships within the US and Canada.
Cost: $21.99 (plus $7.99US/CAN shipping)
Subscribers will be charged on the same day each month. If you subscribe on the 10th of the month, you will be charged on the 10th of every month. If you subscribe on the 21st of the month, your next billing date will be the 21st of the following month. Subscriptions for each monthly box will take place during the month prior.
All sales are final. They do not refund any box purchases. They do, however, guarantee that if you have a problem with your box, are missing an item, got a damaged item, or got the wrong size shirt by mistake that they will go out of our way to take care of any and all issues.
My Thoughts: I give the curator props for going the Kickstarter route and I like all that she’s done with it, however, I’m a bit wary of their boxes just based on that first box. I’m very picky about the genres of my books, and I feel like they’re too broad, and even though I am open to giving all books/authors a try, I’m not sure it’s worth it for the price. Also, the book pictured above was published in 2011, so the fact that they might not provide new/recent releases is a turn off, because if I happen to have the book, I’m SOL. They also don’t really offer exclusive content and I wasn’t too interested in what was in the “sample boxes” featured on their page. I do like bookish t-shirts and from the picture above, it looks like something I would want to wear, so that’s a plus. And like I said above, as much as I love supporting the Indie author and discovering new authors I might like, the risk is too high considering the cost, for me at least.
Each service is appealing in their own right, pros and cons withstanding, but ultimately, I could only choose one. I’m not made of money now! After a lot of inner debating, I finally made my decision and chose Uppercase Box.
Whew! You’d think it was Sophie’s choice or something!
This choice made sense to me logically as it was actually the cheapest of all the options and I genuinely liked all the curated boxes I’ve seen so far. While I will say it looks like they don’t give you nearly enough swag/accessories as I’d like, what really helped with my decision was that it boasts a new release that corresponds to that specific month. Not to mention each book I’ve seen in past boxes have all been widely popular among the book blogging community, so I’m hoping that whatever I get each month will be something I’m already anticipating.
I also liked the ease at which people can subscribe to Uppercase, and I’m sure LitCube as well (based on their website). It’s a bit more difficult with OwlCrate (you have to make an account and wait for the subscribing window) and I’m not sure how The Bookworm Box works yet since their website isn’t like the others and their subscribing window wasn’t available for me to view while writing this.
Will I regret my decision after seeing what the other services put in their boxes in the coming months? Will I have a love/hate relationship with this service as it passes from month to month? Who knows.
I will be doing unboxings and reviews though so we shall see. Stay tuned!
Which box are you a subscriber of? Any of them look appealing to you? I’d love to know your thoughts. Also, let me know if you’d like to see another post featuring all the other book box services as I’ve left out quite a few.
4 Responses to “Bookish Subscription Boxes Galore!”